Forget the Upside Down from Netflix’s “Stranger Things” — these days, the television industry is stuck in a place better described as the In-Between. Compared to last week’s deluge of announcements, cancellations and postponements now trickle in piecemeal, and while it might spur some relief to see the news cycle settle into a less volatile drone of bad news, it’s safe to say that the upcoming months hold even more disheartening headlines for an industry already hard hit by the current health crisis.
In that sense, signs are starting to emerge about the shape of things to come. On Monday, FX announced it had indefinitely delayed the Season 4 premiere of the critically-acclaimed limited series “Fargo” because of the intractable halt in production that has arisen in recent weeks. The decision means the show has been edged out of this year’s Emmy race, given the already late-in-the-game April 19 premiere date it was already working with. The series had two of the season’s 10 episodes still in production, and the delay makes the May 31 eligibility window impossible to negotiate.
This is just the first of what will surely be many announcements of its kind moving forward, with networks forced to choose whether to forge ahead with their plans and hope to find enough healthy daylight to complete filming, or opt instead to hunker down and wait things out, pinning their hopes instead to the 2020-2021 TV season.
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But even beyond the awards implications, it’s entirely possible that the 2019-2020 TV season as we know it is already over. With a delay in production from many broadcast shows and no indication of when things might normalize, the implications are dire. Though largely uninterrupted now, at some point both streamers and networks must decide, like Showtime already has, if and when it’s time to begin rationing the completed content they currently have stashed away.
As it stands, Hollywood remains a tumultuous place, where self-quarantine feels as though it’s been underway for years and simultaneously an abhorrent disruption of societal norms and a pandemic seems both overblown and underestimated. It’s a place of complete upheaval, meaning, it’s just like everywhere else in the world.
For more on the short- and long-term implications of an industry shutdown, sample this week’s episode of “Millions of Screens” with TV Awards Editor Libby Hill, TV Deputy Editor Ben Travers, and Creative Producer Leo Garcia. Recorded from each host’s private abode through the magic of video-conferencing, the crew breaks down the TV breakdown and pulls apart the ramifications of FX’s “Fargo” decision, as well as the TV Academy’s decision to revamp For Your Consideration events into audience-free endeavors.
Plus, stick around for an examination of the ratings for the Season 3 premiere of HBO’s “Westworld” and whether or not the sci-fi reboot’s flaccid numbers is a vote of no confidence from its audience or just a reflection of the state of global affairs.
“Millions of Screens” is available on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with the crew on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Review the show on iTunes and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the gang address specific issues in upcoming editions of “Millions of Screens.” Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.
This episode of “Millions of Screens” was produced by Leonardo Adrian Garcia